Average Life of an All Season Tire

Tire service life can hinge on a lot of different things. Driving habits, tire maintenance, front-end alignment, condition of suspension components and regular rotation schedules can all have a huge effect on the treadwear and service life of your tires. Also, tires can vary greatly in design and rubber compound; softer, “stickier” rubber compounds will wear much more quickly than other formulations, for instance.

All-season tires, like the name implies, are designed for year-round use and can still provide traction in winter conditions, provided that you don’t see an excess of snow and ice or extreme cold in your area. They’re designed for a comfortable, quiet ride and good performance in most conditions. Tire technology has improv ...[more]

Read More

What’s the Proper Air Pressure For My Car

Experts and analysts seem to be in agreement on this: the days of cheap oil are finished. As countries compete with each other for oil on a global market, the price of refined fuel and gasoline in the United States may fluctuate somewhat, but it’s likely to stay above $3/gallon for the foreseeable future. That means that every driver needs to be aware of what they need to do to optimize their gas mileage…and that includes tires.

Proper Inflation

You probably already know that proper inflation is vital to fuel economy, and that underinflated tires will not only drop your gas mileage, but will negatively affect handling and drivability. Underinflated tires are also unsafe, building heat that can compromise a tire’s service life and possibly cause tire failur ...[more]

Read More

How to Choose the Right Tire

Before we start talking about which tires you need, you should determine whether it’s time to go ahead and get tires…

The minimum depth where tire tread is still effective is 2/32”. Anything lower than that and your tires will no longer resist hydroplaning in wet weather, dry traction is reduced and traction in snow is practically nonexistent. Tires now include “wear bars” at the base of the tread, running at a right angle to the tread; when the wear bars show through, the tires are at the end of their service life. The old-timer’s gauge is the “penny test,” where you put a penny, Lincoln’s head down, into the tread. If the top of the tread no longer touches Lincoln’s head, then it’s time (some now recommend the same test with a nickel or quarter).

Of course, when yo ...[more]

Read More

Throwback Thursday: 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gull Wing

The 300SL name has been in the Mercedes stable for a long time, but the 50s-era Gull Wing models may be the best known, and for good reason. Along with the distinctive gull-wing doors, the 300SL had the world’s fastest top speed for its day and was the first car to offer fuel injection for consumer models.

The 300SL was an offshoot of the 1952 W194 race car, with “300” referring to its 3.0-liter engine and SL standing for “Sport Light.” The 300SL featured a tubular steel chassis for balance of strength and light weight. It was this frame that made the gull-wing doors necessary, with part of the chassis passing through the area where the lower half of a standard door would be. Without the gull-wing design, the 300SL would have been awkward to get in and out of; a tilt-away steering column wa ...[more]

Read More

Tire Load Rating

You’ve probably heard the phrase “tire load rating” and wondered what exactly it meant. Tire load ratings are a pretty important part of safety and proper tire maintenance, so let’s break it down: 

  • Your tires will have a service description embossed on the sidewall. The service description includes proper inflation levels, tire size, speed rating, and other information. You’ll also find tire load rating on the service description.
  • The higher the load rating number, the more weight your car’s tires are able to handle. However, that doesn’t mean an actual weight limit. Tire load ratings are coded according to federal standards. A rating code of 60 means actual weight rating of 250 kg/550 lb. Rating code of 80: 450 kg/550 lb, rating code of 125 ...[more]

Read More

Tire Warranty Ratings

Tire warranties and treadlife ratings are a popular marketing tool for tire manufacturers, and as tire technology and engineering has improved, 100,000 mile warranties are not uncommon. Of course, they do come with certain strings attached, considering the variety of weather conditions, usage and road conditions that tires might see – that’s why they’re always referred to as a “limited warranty.” Here’s  a quick breakdown of some common conditions of tire warranties, and how they are calculated: 

  • Treadlife and mileage warranties are only applicable to the original owner and original vehicle, meaning it’s crucial to retain the paperwork that certifies proof of purchase and original installation date and vehicle mileage. You may also be required to prove that tir ...[more]

Read More